From the December 2005 Idaho Observer:

Eighty-five-year-old New Orleans woman could lose her house over FEMA’s lack of assistance

Clothilde Mack of Orleans Parrish provides a stark example of how levies probably were wired and detonated, leading to a catastrophe, triggering official acts of racial cleansing and property theft.

by Greg Szymanski


The nightmare in New Orleans isn’t over and the on-going tragedy of 85-year-old Clothilde Mack is a stark example of government’s priorities in the wake of natural disasters.

 It is well-known that the Bush administration dragged its feet in responding to Katrina and FEMA’s initial recovery efforts making the Keystone Cops look efficient. In fact, FEMA is still causing more harm than good, according to many victims seeking relief.

But it’s Mack’s personal story that really gets to the heart of the government’s true intentions concerning Katrina, highlighting in human terms—with facts and real human emotions—what’s really going on behind the political curtain of silence draped over the Crescent City.

 Although it’s rarely discussed in the media, the levies were likely blown up, the disaster response was scandalously delayed and recovery efforts half-hearted as if it were all a part of a plan to maximize damage, justify racial cleansing and rebuild the region into a gambling haven with Las Vegas-like hotels and casinos.

 Proving such charges to the public will be about as difficult as publicly proving 9/11 was an inside job. However, Mack’s story provides a solid foundation upon which to build our case, as she makes a credible and strong character witness.

The levies

Mack is an elderly black woman who had lived in New Orleans for almost 50 years, living in the same Orleans Parish house for 47 years and owned outright, with no liens, mortgages or encumbrances, her modest house.

 After the night of the hurricane, her home weathered the storm with minor damage and she remembered going out onto her porch the next morning, finding a few trees down in the front yard and thinking she was out of harm’s way.

 In Mack’s mind, the skies were clearing and the storm was over. And, as she surveyed her neighborhood, she saw that the storm had taken its toll by downing trees and power lines, but she thought, "nothing several weeks of cleanup and a little hard work couldn’t fix" until life returned to normal.

 But that was before the levies exploded in more than a half-dozen places at the same time. A sudden, unexpected surge of water after the storm left Mack up to her neck in water when she least expected it—and when expert meteorologists least expected it, adding more circumstantial evidence that the levies were wired and detonated. Neither the media not FEMA have answered two important questions:

If a levy truly erupted at one particular weakened point from a storm surge, wouldn’t it have relieved the pressure from the other points of eruption, causing those sections of the levy to remain strong?

 And if the levies erupted from a storm surge, wouldn’t they have erupted just prior to the storm when the surge is the strongest, since expert meteorologists will testify there was no storm surge after the hurricane?

 As an aside, it must also be asked, "Who would benefit from relocating the poor and rebuilding neighborhoods like Orleans Parish? Of course, the answer is the government, bankers and large contracting firms.

 With these questions leading to a reasonable person concluding that there exists reasonable doubt as to the actual cause of the levies breaking "at once" in numerous places, as well as providing a financial motive for the perpetrators, it is also logical to draw the following conclusion: Navy Seals or covert operatives, trained in demolition, were used to place underwater detonations at strategic locations to wipe-out the poorer, mostly Black New Orleans’ neighborhoods. Although this conclusion is couched in a simple sentence, once proven, it is the beginning step of uncovering a sinister plan to change the face, complexion and financial base of one of America’s greatest cities.

 Listening to Mack’s testimony lays further credibility to the above conclusion and the levy blast theory, as she explains a sudden "Niagra Falls"-like surge of water when it was least expected—after Katrina had already passed.

The great flood

 "I walked outside the next morning and I thought I was safe. The sky was clearing, the wind was low and there were some trees down, but I really thought I had weathered the storm. My house was in good shape and there wasn’t a speck of water on the floor.

 "My car was still in one piece and the neighborhood looked like it could be put back into shape in no time. I stayed because I didn’t have anywhere to go and I didn’t want to leave my house.

 "I remember it was still morning the day after the storm and I walked back into my kitchen. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere the water rushed in like Niagra Falls broke loose. It was up to my waist in a matter of minutes and if I didn’t hold on to the furniture for dear life, I would have never made it.

 "The water just kept rising and before long, I was forced into my attic with the water up to my neck. I remained there for 10 days and by the grace of God I survived on two cans of green beans and several small water bottles."

 Besides Mack’s compelling testimony of an unusually strong surge of water after the storm when expert meteorologists will also testify that a storm surge didn’t occur, it is interesting to note only the poorer communities were flooded and wiped-out, the systematic breaks in the levies suspiciously leaving the more affluent communities, certain business districts and the French Quarter relatively high and dry.

 Mack was left for 10 days in a major American city without help and without even a means of communication. Why? Did the government purposely delay response and aid to maximize casualties and damage for a racial and economic cleansing of New Orleans?

 The government’s foot-dragging is well-documented, reminiscent of an old Keystone Cops movie or a scene out of a Charlie Chaplain comedy. The fact is, though, Mack’s story is real—and revealing.

 It documents on a day-by-day basis how the slow response of the government nearly caused Mack’s death, as well as killing many others who weren’t as lucky.

 Before hearing Mack’s testimony, let’s hear from Wendy Owens, a social worker in the Tennessee County of Greene, where FEMA finally sent Mack. It is worth mentioning that Mack is being held at the home against her will without adequate FEMA assistance.

Delay was "orchestrated"

 Regarding the government’s late response, leaving Mack stranded for 10 days, Owens said, "The only answer I have is that the government delayed things on purpose. First, it was a disgrace and outrage that it took our military and government so long to get into New Orleans, leaving many people like Ms. Mack to die.

 "If our military can get to Baghdad in one day, why did it take them so long to help people in a major American city? Why? Maybe the delay was orchestrated."

 It is also well-documented the Bush administration and military brass provided lame and inadequate excuses for their late arrival in New Orleans. America’s response to disasters on foreign soil are traditionally orchestrated in a much more efficient manner.

 Mack’s 10-day, life-or-death ordeal demonstrates the inexcusable rescue effort mounted by the mightiest military and government in the world—quick to the trigger in Iraq and Afghanistan but slow to mount a serious rescue when it comes to its own citizens.

 It should be noted again that, by acting in a manner so grossly negligent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the federal government circumstantially proves that the slow response was orchestrated to maximize damage and wipe-out the poorer neighborhoods in New Orleans in order to pave the way for certain entities to enjoy windfall profits and capital gains.

Ten days in an attic 

Although Mack is only alive today by the grace of God, her 10-day ordeal illustrates the unnecessary suffering caused on one individual, which of course can be multiplied by thousands more whose stories haven’t yet been told.

 "I broke a window to get some air when the water was still very high during the first couple of days," said Mack in an extended telephone conversation from her room in a living facility in Greene County, Tenn., about 500 miles from New Orleans. "I didn’t have anything to eat up in the attic or any water. After calling 911 until my cell phone gave out and nobody coming to rescue me, I never thought I was going to make it. I made peace with everyone and everything, really thinking I was going to die up there in the attic.

"But by the grace of God I made it through those first couple of days and then the water started going down. I kept calling for my cats but they didn’t come as they didn’t make it up to the attic. I haven’t seen them for three months and really don’t see how they could have survived. They were really the only family I had left and I miss them more and more each passing day."

Who’s paying the bills?

 Mack has repeatedly asked to be returned home, asking for a small FEMA travel trailer to live in beside her house while she tends to needed repairs. But, instead of moving her quickly out of Tennessee, FEMA and other agencies have not given her a trailer and, in fact, have encouraged her to remain in an expensive living facility called "Morning Pointe" located in Greene County. 

Instead of giving her a travel trailer or letting her stay in a free Red Cross Skills Shelter, something never even mentioned as an option, Mack has been literally forced into an expensive living facility that is now seeking payment.

FEMA’s lack of assistance may cost Mack her house. Morning Pointe is about to attach a lien on her property since FEMA, the agency that relocated her there, has not picked up the tab.

Though Mack never wanted to be there in the first place, she was under the impression FEMA was picking up the tab for her stay at Morning Point. But according to Owens, who is assisting Mack, this may not be the case.

 "One thing which has concerned some of us trying to help Ms. Mack is, since Sept. 29, she has been living at Morning Pointe which is an assisted living facility," said Owens in an extended conversation from Tennessee. "Red Cross stated FEMA would pay for this while FEMA says the Red Cross will pay. So far, no one has paid. Ms. Mack does not know this. Another evacuee couple who owned a home was sent to Durham Hensley Nursing Home while all the evacuees who rented or lived with someone else were sent to the Days Inn on the 30 day Red Cross voucher.

 "Call us distrustful, but we fear the government may let these facilities attach Ms. Mack’s and the other couple’s homes for payment. If you talk again with the mayor, would you please get a clarification on this issue so it is matter of record?"

Help is on the way—maybe

 Owens reference is to Mayor Roger Jones of Greene County, Tennessee, who, in the past, has promised to help Mack with getting her FEMA trailer and, in fact, promised to have her home by Christmas as Mack requested.

 Besides Mayor Jones, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has been notified about assisting Mack, but to date has not been able to free up a FEMA trailer so she can return home.

 Although both politicians have promised to help, Mayor Jones has repeatedly not returned phone calls from the media and Owens’ phone calls trying to clarify the trailer issue and also the issue regarding the lien being attached to Mack’s house.

 A sad state of affairs. But hopefully a happy ending if Mack keeps her house and finally gets home for Christmas.

Classroom Katrina

 It is easy to see the sad story going full circle here if somebody doesn’t come to Mack’s immediate assistance, ending in her never returning to Orleans Parrish and eventually losing her house once Mount Pointe attaches a lien on her property in the absence of FEMA’s payment.

 And it all started with the levies most likely being sabotaged, causing Mack to spend 10 days up to her neck in water. At this point, Mack’s statements help to back up the solid evidence previously mentioned that the flooding was manipulated by a controlled underwater detonation.

 Further, Mack’s 10-day ordeal demonstrates how the government, for its own benefit and the benefit of its financial partners, maximized the property damage, as well as increased the number of those killed and those forced to evacuate.

 Next, Mack’s statements illustrate how FEMA has manipulated and encouraged evacuees to remain outside of New Orleans, again increasing the possibility they will never return home and increasing the risk of losing their property.

 Although the outcome is unthinkable and criminal, it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time the present Bush administration, with its many tentacles of evil, have destroyed the lives of good American people.

Endnote: As of today, Mack is becoming more depressed and despondent over the fact she is not going home. FEMA and every other agency of assistance have dropped the ball, leaving Mack without any viable recourse but to remain trapped in Tennessee, amassing huge bills without any government assistance or payment thus far.

 Mack’s wish is to get home by Christmas. To date her only chance is a motor home being offered by The Arctic Beacon. However, since the Beacon’s funds are limited in comparison to The New York Times and other corporate news services, we are in need of gas money from Idaho to New Orleans as well as a driver who can transport the motor home to New Orleans.If you can help, contact us at

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